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Serving as interim pastor

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POSTED: November 6, 2007 5:00 a.m.
“A healthy church is one that serves God by meeting the needs of its community and its congregation. As the interim pastor, I am thrilled to be a part of this new chapter in the life of the Richmond Hill Presbyterian Church,” said Pastor John William “Bill” Lindeman.
He has served as the interim pastor of the church since November 2006.
During his long tenure in the ministry - more than 30 years - Lindeman has served as pastor and interim pastor of various churches in Virginia, Arkansas, Kentucky, South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia.
He served as the pastor of the Hartwood Presbyterian Church in Hartwood, Va.
He was the interim pastor of Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church in Mauldin, S.C.; Meadowlake Presbyterian Church, Huntersville, N.C.; Rosewood Presbyterian Church, Colonial Heights, Va; and Little Joe’s Presbyterian Church, Barium Springs, N.C.
“On many occasions, as a professional interim minister, I am called to go the churches that are without a pastor and fill in until a pastor is called. A church may be in conflict due to the death of a pastor, dismissal of a pastor, or in crises, and I will step in to serve,” Lindeman said.
“In each place, I continue to do what I have always done - bloom where I am planted. My vision of ministry has always centered around my passion for learning - in risking with others in asking the hard questions of the faith; in seeking that sudden gleam of awareness in the eyes of another searching pilgrim that they could know for the first time that they are not alone,” Lindeman said.
Richmond Hill Presbyterian has experienced tremendous growth. It is in the midst of a rapidly growing city. Members are very active in the community.
“We have an active presence in the helping hand ministry. We assist with repairs for existing housing. We also support the living vine ministry. It is a ministry for expectant mothers in the Savannah area,” the pastor said.
The men have a monthly fellowship breakfast and the youths are active with mission.
Lindeman noted the youths took a mission trip to the Appalachian Mountains in Tennessee and worked on a mission project.
The church also contributes to the food pantry at the Methodist Church in Richmond Hill.
“As a pastor or staff member, I see my role as helping the church to better lead herself. Consequently, I have worked hard to develop leadership within the church so that long after I am gone, she is in a position to carry on her work in the world. I lead by tapping into the skills and abilities of others so that among us, we can lead the church together,” he said.
Lindeman noted the Gospel and the mission of the church need to be taken seriously in a society that, more often than not, regards the church with skepticism and suspicion.
“In a complex world, there are no simple answers to life’s complicated questions,” he said.
“Today’s world demands answers that require the church to have people of integrity and the strength to live within the tension of faith-between knowing and not knowing, trusting in a God who reveals just enough to make us want more. Whether it involves single parents, the homeless, a family struggling with long-term care issues, a teen discovering new values, or a community considering a new zoning ordinance, the church must have the vision that can interpret all these events in the light of faith,” Lindeman said.
In addition to his pastoral duties, he has worked as a business analyst, consultant, financial planning specialist and marketing analyst with various companies. He has also been employed as a social worker and chaplain.
Lindeman is a Bible study group facilitator and a regular contributor for The Bible Workbench, a journal for Bible study.
He has a bachelor of music degree in education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and a doctor of ministry degree from Union Theological Seminary in Virginia.
Lindeman and his wife, Nancy, have been married 36 years and reside in Clinton, S.C. They have three children (Ross, Brooke, and Charlotte) and four grandchildren (Ariel, Melanie, Mallory and Christian).
Nancy Lindeman is the vice president of development and public relations for Thronwell Homes for Children in Clinton.
The pastor said, “Even though the roles of husband, father, grandfather and interim minister leave me, like the rest of the world, occasionally gasping for breath, my work continues to teach me something else: the peace and rest that Christ promises is not a respite from the world, but rather the kind of replenishing rest that refuels us to go back into the world, reinvigorated in faith, knowing that we can do all things through Christ.”
In his spare time, Lindeman enjoys hiking, music, pottery and reading.
 

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